Thursday, December 24, 2009

Look What I Got!

Look at all the goodies I got in my stocking from Donna!

~Several packs of rubber gloves- for soapmaking b/c I am always losing them.
~Orange Cream soda from Whole Foods- my absolute favorite soft drink ever!
~Adorable little bottle of Diet Coke- so needed this one today too.
~3 Fat Quarters of Fabric- love the snowmen on the Christmas scene one.

She made the stocking from a sweater at Goodwill. I love the buttons on the heel!

A very cute needle book. I have needed one of these for so long but never thought to make on for myself. I do a lot of hand stitching while waiting in the pickup line at school to get the girls in the afternoons and am always searching for my needle. Hmm, should have taken a close-up of the front. It is green with my name and a flower hand embroidered on the front and a little felt flower in one corner.

Reusable snack bag filled with peanut M&M's. Is this an ongoing gift? Can I give it back to you when it is empty and you refill it for me?

My gloves were wrapped up in the black piece of fabric and tied up with a pretty teal ribbon. I will have to confiscate it from a cheetos eating 4 year old later.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Stocking Exchange

I did a Christmas Stocking Exchange with Donna at Mudpies and Memories.
Here are the rules we went by:
1. The stocking must be homemade and from items already in our sewing/crafting stashes.
2. No more than $5 can be spent
3. At least one item must be purchased from Goodwill (a frugalista favorite)
4. Must include at least 1 candy/food item (because we love to eat!)

Here are the things I put in Donna's gift:

Homemade Apple Muffin Mix

Seriously, how cute is this smiling spoon. I recieved a set of 6 for Christmas and just had to share one.
Banana Chips
Scrabble Tile Necklace and kit so she can make more. The tiles are from a game I found at Goodwill.
Bottlecap Pincushion. I actually went "dumpster diving" in our big garbage can outside to reclaim the apple juice lid for this one!
Scarf- knitted this one myself! I'm so proud I finished it in 24 hours during my hubby's Sunday and Monday football watching sessions.

1/2 yard of Coca Cola fabric from my stash used to wrap the gift. I was just NOT in the mood to make a stocking and this way it can be reused for something else.

Here it is all wrapped up and ready to give.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Scrabble Tile Necklace

Aleene's Paper Glaze 2 oz $5.99 (Michael's)
Triple Thick 4 oz jar $3.99 (Hobby Lobby)
Scrabble Tiles (from a $1 Goodwill game)
Mod Podge
Fabric or Paper design of choice
Eye Hooks
I much prefer the Triple Thick over the Paper Glaze. The Triple Thick will have more tiny bubbles left after it dries, but for making these for myself or as gifts, I am ok with that. If I were going to make them to sell, I would probably want to go with epoxy, but it's just not worth the hassle for me when I am only making 3-4 at the time. The Triple Thick will get much harder than the Paper Glaze even with a week or more drying time. I like the initial overall look of the Paper Glaze but like the durability of Triple Thick much better.

I found these eye hooks at Hobby Lobby in the clockmaking section. Odd place if you ask me, but that's the only place I saw them. I found them by accident actually. I think there were 30 in a pack for about $1.99.
For Donna's I chose to use fabric, and on Aly's I used an image that I found online and printed out on my inkjet printer which everywhere I read said not to do because the colors would run.
From Left to Right: Donna, Aly, Abby
1) Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge on your Scrabble tile and stick your image to that.
2) Trim paper or fabric so it is even with the edges of your tile.
3) If you used paper, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the top of it and let it dry completely. This will help the colors not run.
4) Apply a coat of Triple Thick using a paintbrush. Let this dry for 3 days. The jar says 24 hours, but mine was not completely hard so I waited extra time.
5) Drill a small starter hole for your eye hook. On my first one, I drilled the hole too far. The smallest drill bit I had is slightly larger than the diameter of the eye hook so it wouldn't stay in. What worked best for me was to drill into the tile only a tiny bit, then hold the eye hook with my jewelry pliers in my left hand, tile in my right hand and screw the tile onto the hook instead of the hook into the tile if that makes sense.
You can find the ball chains sold individually or in packs of 5 at Hobby Lobby. They are pretty cheap to begin with and I happened to find them when they had jewelry supplies on sale for 50% off. I think the single one as around $1.47 regular price. I also picked up some lobster claw clasps and cord ends so I could make necklaces from thin ribbon or cord.

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

I just had to let everyone know how much I absolutely LOVE the new song on my blog playlist. I heard it for the first time a couple of years ago. It is rarely played these days but it makes me so happy every time I hear it.
Here is some info on it from Wiki:
Peevey was a regional child star of the Oklahoma City area. When released nationally by Columbia Records, the song shot to the top of the charts and the city zoo acquired a baby hippo named Matilda. A popular legend holds that this 1953 hit had been recorded as a fund-raiser to bring the city zoo a hippo; but in a 2007 radio interview with Detroit-based WNIC radio station, Peevey clarified that the song was not originally recorded as a fundraiser. Instead, a local promoter picked up on the popularity of the song and Peevey's local roots, and launched a campaign to present her with an actual hippopotamus on Christmas. The campaign succeeded, and she was presented with an actual hippopotamus, which she donated to the city zoo. The hippopotamus lived for nearly 50 years. Gayla Peevey later recorded as Jamie Horton, scoring the Billboard Hot 100 charter "My Little Marine" in 1960.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pajamas for the Girls

For the most part, my Mama has always made the girls pajamas for me, or they had ones that their Mimi (hubby's mom) bought for them. This year, Hancock fabrics had their flannel fabric on sale for $1.99/ yard on Black Friday, and patterns were $1 so I decided to make some for the girls myself. I wanted Christmas fabric, but it wasn't included in the sale, so I went with these instead. I would have bought some Christmas PJs but with Abby's eczema, we have been trying to dress her in all cotton since it doesn't irritate her skin like polyester can sometimes. And, all cute PJs I have found in stores were polyester.

Aly loves hot chocolate especially with marshmallows and that's wintery enough for me. Abby loves Owls, but there wasn't any of that so I got her green with birds and we are going to call it 4 Calling Birds to make it Christmasey. We will probably let them open these on Christmas Eve.

Aly's Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

Abby's 4 Calling Birds

I used
Simplicity pattern #2771. I liked the fact that it didn't have a traditional collar but more of a baseball jersey type neck/ closure.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Paper Ornaments

I wanted a craft project to do with the girls on Wednesday while they were out of school And, I really didn't want to make another pony bead jewelry piece, or construction paper, crayon melting kid craft. I wanted a real grown up craft that we would acutally use and all enjoy. So, we came up with these paper ornaments to hang from the chandelier.

Scrapbook or wrapping paper
Scissors or Rotary Cutter (just faster)

I used my rotary cutter to cut the scrapbook paper into strips 1" wide. Then, I marked lines on the strips and let the girls use their scissors to cut them to the following lengths. 6", 7", 9", and 11".

Then, the girls gathered 2 strips each of the longest pieces and 1 strip 6" long. Stack them together with the shortest one in the middle, so that your stack is like this 11, 9, 7, 6, 7, 9, 11. Line up all the strips at one end and staple it together.

Then, gather them up so that the opposite ends all line up. The paper will just start to stick out on its own as you go. Abby needed a little bit of help to get the concept of how it was supposed to work, but once I showed her, she was able to do it on her own.

Just staple the other side once you have all the ends matched up and you are done. We tied strings through them so we could hang them from the chandelier in the dining room. I had been wanting to decorate it for Christmas but didn't want to use just plain garland. I thought these turned out really cute.

You can vary the lengths of the paper strips to make pretty much any size ornament you want. We used the scraps to make the smaller on in the center.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hairbow Holder

This is for my neice Phoebe for Christmas. She wears lots of little clippy hairbows in all colors. Hopefully this will help her mom keep track of them all. And it was super cheap too! $5.39 for 2 since I already had the fabric and ribbon! One for Phoebe and one for my girls.

Here is what you will need:
Canvas - 11" x 14" from Hobby Lobby (2 pk $8.99 and I used a 40% off coupon)
Fabric - from my stash
Grossgrain Ribbon - from my stash

First, lay the canvas on your fabric and trim it so that you have plenty to wrap over the edges.
Time for the staplegun! I started with the long sides, then did the corners and finally stapled the middle of the short sides. Just make sure you stretch it tight all the way around.
Here is the front once it is all stapled.
Then, just cut your ribbon to the length needed, staple it to the back of the canvas. I am going to add a picture frame hook to the back and it will be completely done.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fabric Headband

Well, I made the adorable flower that you see on the headband to be pinned on Aly's brown shirt that goes with the Twirly Stripwork Skirt. But, she asked if I could make it into a hairbow instead b/c she didn't want it on her shirt. I had found a tutorial a while back for fabric headbands from The Long Thread's Make it Monday that I had been wanting to try. Here's the template.

The flower was very easy to make. All I did was fold a 3" x 10" piece of fabric in half lengthwise and hand stitch down the long side, gather it up and stitched the ends together.
I didn't have any black elastic, so I looped 2 ponytail rubberbands together instead. It worked perfectly.
One last picture of a pose Aly chose herself. All these goofy ones will come in handy for blackmail one day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Mama, don't read this if you get it as an email. Close IMMEDIATELY! I changed my settings so hopefully you won't get it but just in case... GO AWAY!

Ok, hopefully she is gone now. I FINALLY finished the scarf I have been working on for what seems like forever. I honestly can't remember when or who I actually started making this for, but come Christmas, it will be Mama's.

I had Abby model it for me since Donna said I needed more pictures of her on here.

Then Cookie begged to be on my blog too since she felt left out, so I said OK.

I just kept this in the truck and would work on it whenever I had to sit and wait somewhere. Mostly at the school waiting to pick the girls up in the afternoons. Sometimes when we would go somewhere as a family and Jay would drive. I had to find something to keep me occupied so his driving wouldn't make me so nervous. He is a police officer, so I know he knows how to drive and has way more experience and training in how to drive than most normal people, but he is constantly in patrol car driving mode so it is best for me to just not look when he drives.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Twirly Stripwork Skirt

These are the measurements for making a size 6 skirt. You can easily adjust it by making the individual pieces slightly larger or smaller as needed.

I don't really know total yardage of fabric you will need b/c mine was all pulled from scraps except the purple. You just need 16 total pieces for the body of the skirt, you can use as many or as few different fabrics as you want.

For this version, you will need 4 coordinating fabrics cut to the following dimensions:

4 pieces of each of the 4 fabrics measuring 6" x 10"
1 piece fabric of choice for the bottom measuring 3" x 90"
1 piece fabric of choice for the drop waist measuring 7" x 30"

Everything was sewn using 1/4" seam allowances except the elastic casing for the waist.

Sew the 6" x 10" pieces together along the 10" sides to form the skirt body.

Piece your bottom hem pieces together to get a strip measuring 3" by 90". Then fold it in half top to bottom and press.

Sew this piece along the bottom of your skirt body and trim any extra off of the end.

To make gathering more easy, I simply sew a wide long zig zag stitch over a piece of cotton yarn. I had 1/2 skein of a Peaches and Cream type yarn left over from another project and I just use it over an over again for all of my gathering, but any thinner yarn will work just fine. Then, just start gathering the skirt piece on the string until it measures approximately 30", the same length as your drop waist piece. I don't actually gather it on the machine as I go, just a pic to show you how it is done.

Pin the gathered skirt to the bottom of the drop waist placing right sides together.

I don't worry about taking out the piece of yarn, I just sew right through it. I usually stitch the skirt to the drop waist piece twice. First with a straight stitch, then with a zig zag in the seam allowance to help cut down on some of the raveling later. I have a singer tiny serger, but it really isn't worth getting out to do this in my opinion.
Umm, this is where the pictures of the steps stop. Why you might ask? Well, because I got in a hurry. I had to finish the skirt in time to make a mad dash to Wal-Mart to find a matching shirt before I had to pick the girls up from school. I knew Aly would want to wear it to tomorrow and going to Wal-Mart with 2 girls is not something I usually find fun.

Ok, all that is really left to do is sew up the side seam and make the casing for your elastic. I am sure if you have made it this far, you can figure out how to do those 2 things without pictures. For the elastic measurement, I use a piece of elastic 1" shorter than the actual waist measurement. Aly's waist is 21" so I used a 20" piece of elastic and overlapped it by about 3/4" when I sewed the 2 ends together. I like to use either 3/4" or 1" elastic for waistbands, but it is really all personal prefrence.
Put it on your favorite 6 year old, send them to the yard, and snap some pics of her having fun twirling, dancing, and doing her best self chosen model poses. Aly requested that "I be able to wear this with jeans instead of leggings, but jeans without red on them, just plain ones please". Fine with me because I think wearing skirts with jeans shows her personality, which is cute, innocent, and funky all at the same time. Plus, they are warmer than leggings.